Jon is a professional wrestler who helped a friend and I out on a shoot for the DC Advertising Club.
In many ways Jon actually started The Learn Project. As Jon hurled himself off of the ropes for the shoot again and again to get us a great picture I found myself wondering how he learned how to wrestle. That led me to wonder, over the next couple of days, about a lot of bizarre things that people know how to do.
How do you learn to ski jump? (Incrementally.)
Where do you learn to operate a tower crane? (Phoenix, Arizona.)
Where does Santa come from? (Midland, Michigan.)
How do you learn about these obscure schools? (Google search.)
It occurred to me that for all the years that I’ve spent sitting in a classroom I really didn’t know a whole lot.
But back to Jon. Jon killed himself for this shoot. He’d jump off the ropes, smash up his knee on the landing, look at the images on the back of the camera, and then decide that he needed to do it again. He was a perfectionist. He was dedicated. He was passionate. It was inspiring. It was also a little alarming.
What I noticed about Jon and many of the people that I’ve met doing this project is that success in any given field isn’t accidental. The people who really get the most out of the schools that I’ve photographed are the ones who put the most into it. They stay up late practicing. They concentrate. They care about the process. As a result of being around this I’ve started pushing more to raise my own bar- to work harder at my own craft. So, I suppose in the end The Learn Project is also about me learning to be a better photographer.
So, thanks to Jon and everyone else out there doing what they do best and always working to improve on it. Please know, for what it’s worth, that at least one person notices.